A downbeat Lewis Hamilton stated he "was just not on it" after a crash in Q3 ensured he will start from 10th in Sunday's European Grand Prix in Azerbaijan.
Hamilton had impressed in Friday's practice sessions on the new street circuit in Baku, but endured a miserable time of things in qualifying 24 hours later.
The reigning world champion was forced to take escape routes in Q1 and Q2, before clipping the wall at turn 10 in the pole-position shootout as Mercedes team-mate and championship leader Nico Rosberg claimed pole position.
Hamilton told Sky Sports F1: "I had a fantastic rhythm yesterday and zero today. Sometimes it happens.
"Right now I just finished qualifying, I couldn't tell you if there's positives. I'm going to try and get as high as possible tomorrow [Sunday], damage limitation from here.
"The team did make a change to something overnight but I was just not on it today."
Hamilton arrived in Azerbaijan in high spirits, having won in Monte Carlo and Montreal to cut Rosberg's lead in the drivers' championship to nine points.